Abuja - The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs,
Usani Uguru Usani, has assured locals of the government’s commitment to
empowering the region.
Speaking at a workshop in Abuja, Usani said government as
determined to correct the wrongs of the past administration, whose initiatives
he said empowered a few especially the elite.
“Previous efforts highlighted projects, the new approach
will emphasize holistic programmes under which the projects fall. Previous
efforts made a few individuals rich, the new approach will bring wealth to the
communities,” said Usani at the event Niger Delta Development Commission
(NDDC), Presidential Amnesty Programme Office, Federal Ministry of Environment
and other development partners organised.
He said previous efforts created “monsters” that were
bigger than the communities but new efforts would address this.
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“Previous efforts were characterized by corruption and
bribery of government officials, the new approach will bring all stakeholders
into a transparent commitment to the development of the Niger Delta region,”
the minister added.
He said previous efforts paid more attention to mega
projects like roads and huge buildings which however celebrated were
“The new approach will pay considerable attention to
projects that will truly empower the people-training, skill acquisition and
ethical re orientation,” Usani said.
While it is rich in oil, the effects of the commodity in
the fragile Niger Delta communities and environment have been enormous.
Local indigenous people have seen little if any
improvement in their standard of living while suffering serious damage to their
natural environment. According to government figures, there were more than 7
000 oil spills between 1970 and 2000.
- CAJ News